Monday, February 7, 2011

A Response to Critics

I have more faith in people than you do (strange for me to use that word). But I agree I can't prove I'm right and that people can do without religion. In fact I usually get pilloried by other atheists here when I suggest that religion may satisfy some need for many people.

We don't yet have a good understand­ing of exactly how religion came to be from an anthropolo­gical and psychologi­cal perspectiv­e and I admit you might be right.

In any case, I think the important thing is that your example shows a flaw in Harris' theory (even though I admire his work quite a bit). If it did turn out that there was some basic genetic need to believe in a supreme being in order to be happy, even if that were proven scientific­ally, I would still rather believe the truth rather than believe what makes me happy. Thus, for some people "well being" alone can't be the only metric for morality. I had actually never thought this through so clearly before so your point helped me understand my criticism of Harris, an example of what the best kind of dialogs here can accomplish­!
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